Read My Lips
The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. ~Proverbs 10:11
Has anyone ever told you, “Read my lips”? If so, what they are saying is to understand what they are saying. In Proverbs 10, one of the recurring themes that is being emphasized is what we say, how we say it, and what our words say to the receiver. Our words will either edify, or we will live to regret what we say. When someone reads our lips, what message are we conveying?
There is the principle concerning our words.
“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life.” What comes out of us is a function of what is inside of us. A person who has been subjected to grievous actions and words from others can harbor all of this and eventually spew it out as hateful and resentful speech. However, that same person, when subjected to kind and gracious actions and words, will give forth words that are a blessing. The goal with our mouth is that it is a source of edification, encouragement, gratification, thankfulness, and wisdom. Just as a well satisfies the thirst of a thirsty man, our mouth is to be a source of satisfaction to the soul of those who come to us.
There is the problem concerning our words.
Our words can work against us. Our words can be destructive to others and result in loss of relationships, confidence, and trust. In Proverbs 10:18, deceitful words cover up hatred and reveal a person’s foolish behavior. This person covers up bitter resentment within. A person who is slanderous and tears down other people is being foolish because the only person who eventually looks bad is the slanderer. The wicked person uses inflammatory speech and incites violence, murder, and wars. The mouth of the wicked speaks forwardness including complaining, cursing, lies, hypocritical speech, slander, fault-finding, gossip, boasting, threatenings, and deceit. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
There is the profitability of our words.
Consider some of the many ways that our words build other people up. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life. "In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found." "The tongue of the just is as choice silver." "The lips of the righteous feed many." "The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom." One of the biggest assets that we have is the ability to be a blessing with our words. What kind of message are we giving with our lips?
There should be the prevention with our words.
Some things are best not to be said. "He that refraineth his lips is wise." Hurtful words cannot be taken back. A good rule of thumb is to avoid responding to someone who speaks to you with angry and negative words. "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." Prolonging an argument by letting a contentious person get under your skin only leads to further bitterness. "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Keep your cool by staying cool.
There is the prayer for our words.
David prayed, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” We must pray constantly that we grieve not the Spirit and others around us with words that could give place to the devil. Let’s be careful of how people read our lips!
Have a kindness-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 38-40